Today we'll show you how to grow a cherry tree from seeds! Cherry trees are an exciting plant to have in your own home because they're so amazingly delicious! Unfortunately, a cherry tree will not grow in all regions. If you're thinking on growing a cherry tree, it's best to do so in USDA zones 5-9. This tutorial will show you how to grow a cherry tree from seed. This means you'll have to eat some cherries!
How to Grow a Cherry Tree
Saving the Pits:
So how to plant cherry seeds? Well first thing's first, you must get your hands on cherry pits!
The best and easiest way to get your hands on cherry pits is to harvest them yourself by eating a few cherries! Head to your local grocery store and choose any variety of cherry you want to plant from sweet cherries to tart cherries and sour cherries.
Let's look a little more closely at the different varieties of cherries:
Sweet cherries are the most common cherry variety, and the one you'll find at your local grocer. Their skin is thick, they're round, and they have a very sweet flavor. Sweet cherries will grow in USDA zones 5-7. You will need at least 2-3 trees as they will need to pollinate one another. If you don't have a big orchard, you can also opt for the “Stella” variety which is a new dwarf sweet cherry tree that is self-pollinating.
Sour cherries are usually smaller than sweet cherries, and, unlike sweet cherries, are not eaten raw. They are usually used in preserves, sauces, and sometimes used to make alcohol such as wine or brandy. Sour cherries grow in USDA zones 4-6.
Dwarf cherry trees:
If you don't want to deal with cross pollination, be sure to purchase a dwarf cherry tree or a dwarf cherry seed. Additionally, dwarf cherry varieties bear fruit a year earlier than regular cherry trees. Regular cherry trees will usually start producing fruit in their fourth year, while dwarf cherry trees in their third year. Once matured, regular varieties should produce about 30-50 quarts of cherries per year, while dwarf varieties will produce 10-15 quarts.
How to Grow Cherry Seeds:
Next time you're enjoying nature's candy, save the pits! Take the pits and place them in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes have elapsed, scrub the pits of any leftover clinging fruit.
Spread the pits out on a paper towel or tea towel and let them dry in a warm place for 3-5 days. Once dried, transfer the dried pits into a clean airtight container with lid. Keep the pits in the refrigerator for about 10 weeks.
The reason you need to keep the pits in the fridge for 10 weeks is because cherries need to go through a cold or stratification period. This normally occurs during the cold, winter months, prior to germination in the spring. When you refrigerate the pits, you're basically mimicking this process. Once the 10 weeks have elapsed, you may start planting!
How to Plant Cherry Seeds:
- After the 10 weeks have gone by, take the pits out of the fridge, and allow them to come to room temperature.
- Put 2 or 3 pits into a small container that is filled with potting soil and water well. Make sure you use drained soil.
- Keep the soil moist at all times.
- Once the seedlings are about 2 inches tall, go ahead and thin them to remove the weakest plants. Leave the sturdiest seedling in the pot.
- Keep the seedling in a sunny spot, indoors, until all danger of frost has passed.
- Once all danger of frost has gone, you may go ahead and transplant outdoors.
- Space each tree about 20 feet apart.
Fertilizing Cherry Tree:
- Fertilize your cherry tree about once a year.
- Use a low-nitrogen fertilizer in early spring.
- A cherry tree will start to produce fruit in its fourth year. This may seem like a long time, but it is absolutely worth it!
- Once your cherry tree has matured, it will keep producing juicy cherries season after season!